In the world but not of it

December 15, 2009

Evidence left behind…

Filed under: Uncategorized — In the world but not of it @ 5:00 am

But as you have seen and heard, this man Paul has persuaded
many people…Acts 19:26

If you walk through Ephesus today you see some of the most
well preserved ruins of all antiquity in Asia that date back to several hundred
years before Christ.

Ephesus actually experienced five different civilizations
but to most the Roman Empire’s influence seems to be the one remembered. Yet
for Bible students Ephesus holds an important place in history as one of the
cities that the Apostle Paul reached with the Gospel. You can read the story in
Acts 19.

What is amazing about Ephesus is just how pagan a city it
was yet Paul spent a great deal of time there once he arrived and his influence
had major ramifications for Christ in that city. Many were converted and the
city experienced a revival like it had never seen. The impact was so great that
today you can see several carvings in the marble streets of Ephesus displaying
a lost symbol of Christianity.

The symbol was a circle with four lines within it
connecting. Two of the lines made a cross in the center of the circle and two
made the letter “X”. All the lines connected at the center and when you look
carefully you see it contains all the letters of the Greek word we typically
see associated with the Christian fish yet the fish was not the fist symbol.

This circular shape contained the visual expression of each
letter and was well known throughout the regions at the time.

If you follow the letter patterns from left to right hidden
in the circle you see:

I for Jesus (Greek spelling of His name
started with the letter I)

X for Christ (Greek spelling of Christ begins
with X)

O (the O has a line horizontally through the
center representing “Theos” – Greek for God)

Y for the Greek word for Son

for Salvation (The Greek letter S is ∑)

Paul knew his mission in life was to be on a mission. He
knew that regardless of where God led him, his primary goal was to be a witness
of the truth. Paul was not responsible for the result of his willingness to share
the good news. Paul was not afraid of the persecution that could result from
it. Paul was not worried about losing his job as an Apostle or being demoted in
the ranks. Paul was not out for stature, prominence and “making his mark”.

His single-minded purpose was to share the love of Christ.
He knew that God would do the rest in taking care of all his needs. When you
walk the streets of Ephesus today and see this symbol engraved into the marble
streets and pillars throughout the remaining ruins you see the impact of a life
submitted to Christ.

By the way, the enormous amount of ruins they uncovered in
Ephesus represents only 10% of the entire city, which is all still there
waiting to be discovered as archaeological digs continue…

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